The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.
Subsequent awards of the Kirti Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon (to date, none have been awarded). It is possible for a recipient to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra or Shaurya Chakra in addition for separate acts of gallantry.
From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 1050 for recipients of the award. Jammu and Kashmir awards a cash award of Rs. 1000 (ca. 1960) for recipients of the Kirti Chakra.
Established: Established as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class II" by the President of India, 4 January 1952 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were revised and the decoration renamed on 27 January 1967.
Obverse: Circular silver, 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In the centre, the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka, surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. Suspended by a straight bar suspender. The medal is named on the edge.
Reverse: For pre-1967 awards, the medal is blank in the centre, with "Ashoka Chakra" in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim, "ASHOKA CHAKRA". On either side is a lotus design. The centre is blank, perhaps with the intent that details of the award be engraved there. There is no indication of the class on the pre-1967 awards. For the post-1967 awards, the, names are changed to "Kirti Chakra" in Hindi above and "KIRTI CHAKRA" below.
Ribbon: 30 mm, dark green with two 2 mm saffron stripes. Dark green 8.5 mm, saffron 2 mm, dark green 9 mm, saffron 2 mm, dark green 8.5 mm.
Awards: To understand the award better, a sample recipient would be No. 18161 Naik Mukhtiar Singh, 4 J. & K. Infantry (to date from 19 March 1956).
"On the night of 18/19 March 1956, the position occupied by our troops on the Bela at Hussainiwala Headworks, near Ferozepore on the Indo-Pakistani Border was attacked. Approximately one platoon of attackers managed to secure a foothold on the Bela from the left flank. On being ordered by his platoon commander to take his section to the threatened flank and stem the advance, No. 18161 Naik Mukhtiar Singh personally led his section through heavy automatic fire. He inflicted two casualties on the attackers, captured their rifles and led his section up to the right Guide Bund and secured his objective. Whilst his section was securing the objective on the Bund, a hand grenade landed near him in the midst of his section. In order to save his section, he lifted the grenade with his left hand and tried to throw it back on the attackers. The grenade exploded in the meantime and his left elbow was blown off. Though seriously wounded he continued to exhort his men to fight on and refused to be evacuated. No. 18161 Naik Mukhtiar Singh by his high example of personal leadership, courage and complete disregard for his personal safety averted a disaster to his section and to the Bela Position."
- Ashoka Chakra, Class II (1952–67)
- Kirti Chakra (1967--)
Read more about Kirti Chakra: Trivia
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